The Sweet Sixteen hits its finale!
NJPW wraps up the round of sixteen as Los Ingobernables de Japon takes on Bullet Club back-to-back! Will it be tranquilo or Too Sweet tonight?
- Six Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato VS YOH, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma; Tanahashi, Taguchi & Wato win.
- El Desperado & DOUKI VS SHO & Yujiro Takahashi; Sho & Yujiro win.
- Six Man Tag: Guerillas of Destiny VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- Six Man Tag: Chaos VS Suzuki-Gun; Chaos wins.
- Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI VS Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay; Cobb & Ospreay win.
- Kazuchika Okada & Toru Yano VS Dangerous Tekkers; Dangerous Tekkers win.
- 2022 New Japan Cup Third Round: Shingo Takagi VS Chase Owens; Takagi wins and advances.
- 2022 New Japan Cup Third Round: Hiromu Takahashi VS EVIL; wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI VS Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay!
The Uncontrollable Charisma meets the Hawaiian Hulk in the quarterfinals, while Black Mask lost to the Commonwealth Kingpin to start the New Japan Cup. Will Los Ingobernables de Japon go into the next round strong while also avenging Sanada? Or will the United Empire continue to conquer?
The Empire doesn’t even wait for LIJ to get in the ring before they attack! Ospreay goes after Bushi while Cobb is after Naito! Ospreay stomps away on Bushi, Cobb CLUBS and headbutts Naito and the bell rings to get this on record. Cobb puts on Naito’s hat to mock him, then bumps Naito off the apron. Ospreay keeps beating up Bushi and even rakes the eyes! The ref reprimands, Ospreay lets off, but Cobb puts Naito in the ring. Cobb stomps Naito, says he remembers Naito from the G1, and then brings Naito up to throw heavy body shots! Cobb CLUBS Naito, then tells Bushi he’s next.
Cobb drags Naito up, whips him to ropes, but Naito holds ropes and boots back! Naito dodges to shove Cobb, then Bushi dropkicks the legs out! Naito basement dropkicks then goes after the leg! KNEEBAR! Cobb gets the ROPEBRAEK, but Bushi stands on Cobb’s hand! The ref reprimands and Bushi steps away, but Naito keeps on the kneebar! Cobb claws at Naito and the ref counts. Bushi tags in, Cobb grabs at Naito’s hair, and the ref has Naito undo his leglock. Bushi stomps Cobb’s bad leg, then stands on the knee. Bushi has the other leg, too, but Cobb gets the ropebreak.
Bushi lets off to stomp Cobb around. Tag back to Naito, Naito stomps Cobb’s leg in the corner over and over. Naito pulls on Cobb’s hair, then whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in to JUMP KCIK! Leg sweep, but Cobb catches the slingshot! Tag to Ospreay before the TOSS! Slingshot senton! Ospreay BOOTS Bushi then goes out to RAM Bushi into railing! Ospreay digs at Bushi’s eyes while Cobb throws Naito out to CLUB him! Cobb CLUBS away on Naito’s chest, then mocks tranquilo! Fans rally up for “L I J!” but the ring count starts. Cobb brings Naito up to fake out commentary and throw Naito in for Ospreay.
Ospreay digs his knee on Naito’s head, but he lets off to taunt Naito. Ospreay throws forearms, Naito staggers around, and Ospreay CHOPS him to the corner! Ospreay digs his boot in but the ref counts. Ospreay scrapes Naito’s face but he lets off at 4. Ospreay drags Naito up but Naito throws a body shot! And haymakers! Ospreay kicks low, whips Naito hard into a corner, and Naito falls to the mat. Ospreay hurries to drag Naito over and he tags Cobb. Cobb stomps away on Naito, but fans rally up. Cobb stands on Naito and “surfs” on him! Cobb even mocks Naito’s pose! Cobb steps off and Naito writhes.
Fans rally up, Cobb drags Naito up to whip him to a corner. Cobb kisses his bicep, to run and uppercut in the corner! Then Cobb lifts Naito, for a running- Headlock takeover! Naito gets up to reel Cobb in for elbow after elbow! But Cobb ROCKS Naito! Naito dropkicks Cobb’s leg out! Fans fire up while both men are down! Naito and Cobb crawl, hot tags to Bushi and Ospreay! Ospreay kicks and whips but Bushi RANAS! Ospreay bails out, Bushi builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit and Ospreay hits railing! Fans fire up as Bushi puts Ospreay back in. Bushi spins Ospreay around, DDT! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally and Bushi stomps Ospreay. Bushi brings Ospreay up but Ospreay slips out of Fisherman Screw! Ospreay scoops for a SPIN-OUT BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Ospreay grins as he prepares the elbow pad! Bushi sits up, but Naito CLOBBERS Ospreay and dropkicks him! Cobb whips Naito but Naito FLYING FOREARMS! Cobb comes back, Naito dodges, kicks and TORNADO- NO! Cobb blocks to suplex! But Naito slips out, waistlocks, but Cobb switches! Cobb ripcords for TOUR OF- NO! Naito slips out to dropkick the leg! Naito runs in, tilt-o-whirl, but ATHLETIC PLEX!!
Fans fire up as Cobb runs at Bushi. Bushi dodges, Cobb ducks the enziguri but not the HEEL KICK! Bushi runs, but into an ENZIGURI from Ospreay! Cobb TACKES Bushi to the corner, Ospreay BOOTS, then feeds to Cobb’s LARIAT! Ospreay takes aim, Bushi sits up, HIDDEN BLADE!! Cover, the Empire wins!
Winners: Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay, by pinfall
Nothing could stop the combination of Hulk and Kingpin! Wait, Cobb aims at Naito and builds speed?! Oh, just to copy Naito’s fake-out and tranquilo. Is this a sign that nothing will stop the United Empire from taking the New Japan Cup?
Kazuchika Okada & Toru Yano VS Dangerous Tekkers!
The Rainmaker is IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, and the Producer is currently Mr. KOPW 2022. Taichi beat one but lost to the other, will he and Zack Sabre Jr. get big wins outside of the Cup? Or will Chaos refuse to #JustTapOut?
Taichi shows off the dancing pecs and fans cheer. The teams sort out and Yano is honored to let Okada start. Taichi starts against Okada to give us a partial rematch from their Cup match. Fans rally as the two circle, and they tie up. Okada powers Taichi to ropes, the ref calls for the ropebreak, and Okada lets off. But then Taichi turns it around onto Okada! Taichi fakes the chop to pat Okada on the shoulders. Then Taichi kicks him low! Taichi whips, reels Okada in, but Okada forearms! Okada whips, Taichi holds ropes but Okada ducks the Ax Bomber! Okada ripcords but Taichi ducks the Rainmaker!
Fans cheer the standoff, but then Taichi CHOKES Okada! Taichi pushes Okada to the mat, lets off as the ref counts, and then eggs Okada on. Okada gets up but he blocks Taichi’s kick to spin him and BOOT him down! Okada tags Yano in and Yano fires up as he goes to untie a buckle pad! But Taichi CLUBS and whips Yano! Yano holds ropes to taunt Taichi, then he dodges the boot to SLAP him! Taichi CHOKES Yano and shoves him into the bare buckles! ZSJ DECKS Okada then runs over to dig his boot into Yano! The ref counts, the Tekkers let off at 4. They double whip Yano, ZSJ runs in to EuroUpper! Taichi adds a clothesline!
Taichi snapmares Yano for ZSJ’s NECK TWIST! ZSJ even mocks Yano’s shrug! Taichi paces around Yano, drags him back up, snapmares him back down, and KICKS him in the back! Cover, but there’s a choke in it! The ref reprimands so Taichi stops. Cover, but there’s another choke! The ref reprimands, so Taichi sits Yano up to dig his fingers into Yano’s chin! Is that a choke? Not sure but the ref reprimands anyway. Taichi lets off and fans rally up. Taichi bumps Yano off buckles, and now ZSJ wrenches Yano’s neck! Snapmare, and headscissors! ZSJ squeezes tight, pushes up for more pressure, but Yano endures.
Yano reaches out with a foot but Taichi blocks the ropebreak with his foot! The ref reprimands, Taichi steps away and Yano finally has the ropebreak. ZSJ lets off and fans cheer. ZSJ drags Yano up by his ears, but Yano breaks free to fire off forearms! ZSJ headbutts low, whips to ropes, but Yano reverses! Atomic- NO! Ear pulling! ZSJ pulls ears, whips, but Yano reverses to pull ZSJ’s hair! Both men are down and Yano tags in Okada! Okada rallies on ZSJ with forearms, then whips. ZSJ reverses but Okada CLOBBERS ZSJ! Then he DECKS Taichi! Okada whips ZSJ corner to corner, into the bare buckles!
Okada runs in to back elbow, then kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up, “O-KA-DA!” and he drags ZSJ up. Okada loops the arms and hooks a leg for a modified abdominal stretch! ZSJ endures, slips out, and has a motorcycle stretch! Okada turns it around on ZSJ, but ZSJ flips through to kip up and reel Okada in! Cobra twist! Okada endures, ZSJ taunts him, but Okada pops free to hip toss! ZSJ gets up, Okada throws a forearm. ZSJ EuroUppers, then eggs Okada on. Okada swings but into ZSJ’s wrench and PELE to the arm! ZSJ runs, blocks Okada’s boot and WRINGS the arm out!
Fans rally up and ZSJ tags in Taichi! Taichi drags Okada up for Kowata Kicks! Okada throws forearms in return! Taichi shakes that off to KICK Okada’s leg. Okada fires a forearm, Taichi kicks! Forearm, kick, repeat! Fans rally up as Okada eggs Taichi on! Taichi throws more kicks, but Okada EuroUppers! Taichi sobats! Taichi reels Okada in, but Okada fights the bomb to Alabama lift and REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Both men are down, fans rally up, hot tag to Yano! Yano is fired up again, and he drags Taichi up, but Taichi kicks low. Taichi goes to run but Yano throws him by his hair! High stack, TWO!!
Yano whips, Taichi reverses, Yano avoids the buckles, then baits Taichi into them! Roll up, TWO!! Yano drags Taichi up, whips him, but Taichi reverses to wrench and HOOK KICK! Fans rally up as both men are down! Taichi grits his teeth and gets up. Taichi encourages them to get louder so the fans rally harder. Yano sits up, but he ducks the buzzsaw! Yano PANTSES Taichi! Taichi is embarrassed, just like when they faced off in the tournament, and Yano rolls Taichi up! ZSJ breaks it! Okada throws ZSJ out and tells Yano to finish this! Okada RAMS ZSJ into railing, Yano avoids Ax Bomber to clinch.
But Taichi fights back! It’s a sumo showdown! Yano fireman’s carry takeovers! Yano runs at Taichi but is sent into the bare buckles! Taichi hits the sumo throw! Taichi squares up in the three point stance, RUNNING FOREARM! Cover, Tekkers win!
Winners: Dangerous Tekkers, by pinfall
Taichi pins Mr. KOPW 2022 again! Is this a sign that the Holy Emperor should take that trophy away from Yano and bring it back to Suzuki-Gun? And what of ZSJ’s journey back to the Cup? Will the Submission Master be meeting the Rainmaker in the finals?
2022 New Japan Cup Third Round: Shingo Takagi VS Chase Owens w/ Bad Luck Fale!
The Rampaging Dragon got dumped on his head on a chair by the Crown Jewel while Bullet Club was beating up on LIJ. Chase won’t let Takagi beat him in five minutes, but will that attack only ensure Takagi goes after him even harder?
Chase attacks as soon as Takagi’s in the ring! The bell rings to get this on record as Chase stomps a mudhole into Takagi! Chase fires off forearms, lets off as the ref reprimands, but Takagi brings Chase in to fire back! Takagi JABS Chase then CHOPS him. Fans cheer and Takagi whips, but Chase holds ropes to boot back. Chase runs, rams Takagi, but Takagi returns to run him over! Takagi scoops and SLAMS to then SENTON onto Chase! Chase bails out but Takagi goes out after him. Takagi CLUBS Chase, then RAMS him into the apron. Takagi drags Chase up and bumps him off the apron, then bumps him off again.
Takagi puts Chase in the ring, but Fale distracts him. Chase WRECKS Takagi with a dropkick! And then RUSSIAN LEG SWEEPS Takagi into the apron edge! Chase turns Takagi for a NECKBREAKER to the floor! The ref check son Takagi while fans rally up. Chase drags Takagi up and into the ring, then covers, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Chase drags Takagi up to CLUB him down. Chase puts Takagi on ropes, and he peels away the KT tape! Chase digs his boots into Takagi but the ref counts. Chase lets off, Takagi throws body shots!
Takagi ROCKS Chase with a forearm! Chase JAWBREAKERS back! Chase goes to a corner, Takagi runs in but Chase RUSSIAN LEG SWEEPS him into buckles! Takagi sits down and clutches his neck while Chase gets up. Fans rally but Chase drags Takagi up to snapmare. Chase clamps on claws into Takagi’s shoulder, then adds a top wristlock. Takagi endures but Chase KNEES him in the back! And then drops knees on his head! Chase stomps and taunts Takagi, but Takagi gets up. Fans rally but Chase cravats for a neck wrench. Takagi throws body shots to get free but Chase cravat KNEE SMASHES and mule kicks!
Chase runs for a RUNNING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Takagi gets under the ropes and fans rally up, but Chase bends Takagi back against the ropes! The ref reprimands, counts, and Chase lets off at 4. Takagi goes to the apron while Chase paces. Chase drags Takagi around by the legs to ROPE GUILLOTINE! Takagi writhes and sputters, and Chase talks trash. Fans rally up but Chase drags Takagi up to CLUB him in the neck! And again! Takagi gets to ropes but Chase brings him around to KNEE him down! Chase runs, SHINING WIZARD! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Takagi is still in this!
Chase drags Takagi up, reels him in and tucks the arms! Takagi fights the package, and back drops free! Fans fire up but Takagi still clutches his neck. Chase gets up, Takagi ELBOWS! JABS! And YUKON- NO! Chase blocks, hammerlocks, but no Jewel Heist! YUKON LARIAT! Fans are thunderous and Takagi gets his arms moving again. Takagi whips, KNEES Chase at the ropes, then hits a DDT! Takagi keeps moving, SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Takagi says there’s still more! Takagi drags Chase up, suplexes, but the neck bugs him too much. Chase gets a GUILLOTINE FACELOCK!
Takagi endures, Chase suplexes for a GHOSTBUSTER! Takagi writhes and Chase aims from the corner. Takagi gets up, Chase runs in, forearm smash! And short arm LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Chase is annoyed that Takagi is still in this. Chase runs in, but Takagi dodges the C-Trigger! Chase CLUBS, CHOPS and whips, but Takagi reverses to fireman’s carry! Chase chinbars free! And then QUICK DRAW! Cover, TWO! Takagi survives the hip toss neckbreaker and fans rally up even harder. Chase drags Takagi up, reels him in, but Takagi fights the half nelson. Takagi elbows and arm-drags free, to ELBOW!
Takagi runs, but into a C-TRIGGER! Both men are down but fans fire up again! Chase follows Takagi to the apron and drags Takagi up. Chase tucks the arms, but Takagi holds ropes! Chase CLUBS Takagi down, then grabs at him. Takagi pushes Chase away, so Chase stomps the neck and shoulders! But Takagi drags Chase down for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER to the floor! Fans are thunderous again while both men are down! A ring count starts and both men stir. Takagi drags himself up the railing, headbutts the railing, and fires up! He gets in the ring at 14 of 20! Chase sits up at 17 of 20, Fale shouts to him, and Chase is in at 19.99!!
Fans rally as Takagi and Chase go to opposite corners. Takagi waits for Chase to stand, then runs in to clothesline! Fans fire up again and Takagi feeds off that energy! Takagi drags Chase up, hoists him to the top rope, and then climbs up to join him! Takagi gets Chase up for a SUPERPLEX!! Chase’s headband goes flying off, but Takagi also clutches his neck and shakes his bad arm out. Fans are electric as Takagi wants Chase to get back up! Chase ROCKS Takagi with a forearm, but Takagi hits back! Chase forearms back, but Takagi forearms again! Takagi eggs Chase on, so Chase forearms again!
Takagi and Chase continue to trade forearms! As soon as Chase hits Takagi, Takagi hits back! They speed up, fans rally with them, and Chase gets the edge! Chase ROCKS Takagi, but Takagi headbutts the buckle to fire up! Takagi fires boxing elbows on Chase! But Chase fires the fast strikes! Takagi ROCKS Chase, ELBOWS, JABS, and- BACK ELBOW from Chase, to the neck! Chase aims from a corner, “BANG!” C-TRI- NO!! Takagi blocks the knee, catches the arms, MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, TWO!! Chase survives and fans are thunderous! Takagi fires up with “OI! OI! OI!” and fans clap along!
Takagi gets up, drags Chase up, and pump handles to the torture rack. But Fale gets on the apron! Takagi tells him to get down, but then Chase runs in! Takagi dodges and Chase hits Fale! Chase dodges Takagi and Fale gets knocked down! Chase rolls Takagi, with feet on the ropes! TWO!! Jackknife, TWO!! Chase rakes eyes, runs, but Takagi follows to clothesline at the ropes! Takagi runs, but into a C-TRIGGER!! Fans are fired up as Chase vows to end this! He tucks Takagi in, but still no package! So Chase shifts to a standard PILEDRIVER! Cover, TWO!!! Chase is furious but fans are thunderous again!
Chase glares as Takagi gets up at the ropes. Chase runs, C-TRIGGER! Then the tuck, but Takagi RANAS?! Chase BOOTS, Takagi PUMPING BOMBERS!! Fans fire up, Takagi roars and he gets Chase up! Pump handle, rack, LAST OF THE DRAGONS!! Cover, Takagi wins!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall (advances to the quarterfinals)
Chase could not slay Takagi, and now the Rampaging Dragon is soaring to the next round! Will Takagi continue towards the Cup, no matter who gets in his way?
2022 New Japan Cup Third Round: Hiromu Takahashi VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
The Ticking Timebomb was also beat up by Bullet Club, and his revenge on the King of Darkness has been a long time coming! Will Hiromu finally take down the traitor? Or will Darkness Fall and prove Everything is Evil?
Hiromu doesn’t even wait for Evil to get in the ring before he attacks! Hiromu shouts at Dick to back off, then he goes after Evil! He whips Evil hard into railing, and then the bell rings to get this on record. Hiromu stands on Evil’s head, then drags him up to whip him into more railing! Dick creeps over but again Hiromu scares him off. Hiromu drags Evil up while mockingly asking what’s wrong. Hiromu tells Evil to get up, and then he whips him into even more railing! Evil TUMBLES over the railing! Fans fire up behind Hiromu while Dick checks on Evil. Evil crawls his way back and Hiromu eggs him on.
Wait, Hiromu climbs up now? But Dick has a chair! Hiromu hops down to chase Dick off again. But Evil gets a chair, and he THROWS it into Hiromu’s face! Red Shoes reprimands Evil but Dick gets his shots in. Evil then uses the House of Torture shirt to choke Hiromu! Evil whips Hiromu into railing now, then finally catches his breath. Evil goes back to stand on Hiromu’s head. Fans rally while Evil goes to the ring. Red Shoes calls to Hiromu, then starts the ring count. Hiromu sits up at 5 of 20, crawls his way over, and gets to his feet at 10. Hiromu is in at 11 but Evil whips him, into the bare blue corner! The Bullet Club Special!
Evil stands on Hiromu, fans rally up, and Evil is annoyed. Evil drags Hiromu up but Hiromu CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS again! Evil knees low, throws Hiromu out, then argues with Red Shoes to distract from Dick attacking Hiromu! Dick puts Hiromu in for Evil and Evil drags Hiromu to a cover. Red Shoes refuses to count, he is still scared in the corner. Evil gets mad again but fans rally for Red Shoes. Evil drags Hiromu up, scoops and SLAMS! Now cover and count, TWO! Another cover, TWO! A third cover, TWO! Evil is frustrated but the fans rally up again. Hiromu seems to be grinning despite the pain.
Evil slaps Hiromu around so Hiromu CHOPS back! Evil eggs Hiromu on, Hiromu CHOPS more. Evil rakes eyes! Hiromu blocks the kick, but Evil pulls on his nose! Evil runs, but Hiromu dropkicks the legs out! Fans rally up while both men are down again. Evil and Hiromu go to opposite corners, and Hiromu runs corner to corner to clothesline! Snapmare and basement dropkick! Evil bails out but Hiromu goes to the apron! Hiromu JOHN WOOS and takes out Evil and Dick! Fans are thunderous as Hiromu roars and gets to his feet. Hiromu goes back for Evil, drags him up and puts him in the ring.
Hiromu drags Evil up again, suplex, FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Hiromu drags Evil up again. Hiromu fireman’s carries, but Evil slips off! Hiromu ends up in a corner, Evil runs in but into a BOOT! Hiromu runs, but Evil uses Red Shoes as a shield! Hiromu moves Red Shoes aside, but Evil blocks his mule kick! Evil hands the foot to Red Shoes, but then Hiromu blocks Evil’s mule kick! Hiromu has Red Shoes let his foot go, and then he DRAGON SCREWS Evil down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hiromu gets up and watches Evil flounder to a corner. Hiromu runs in to SHOTGUN dropkick!
Evil is down in a corner but Hiromu drags Evil back up to a fireman’s carry. CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Hiromu fires up more and brings Evil back up. Fireman’s carry, but Evil fights and gets to the apron. Hiromu SUPERKICKS Evil! Hiromu runs, sunset flips, but Evil grabs Red Shoes! Dick sucker punches Hiromu! Evil then RAMS Hiromu into the timekeeper’s area! Down goes Abe-san! Young Lions and Red Shoes hurry to help the timekeeper, and fans rally up. A ring count starts, Evil drags Hiromu by his legs! SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Hiromu endures while the count climbs. Evil lets go at 10 of 20 to get in the ring!
Hiromu writhes, fans rally up, and he flounders to the apron. But Evil distracts Red Shoes and Dick throws Hiromu down! Red Shoes keeps the count going from 15! Hiromu pushes up at 17 and gets in at 19! Evil is furious but fans still rally for “HI-RO-MU!” Evil drags Hiromu up, FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Evil is upset again and the fans continue to rally. Evil drags Hiromu back up, fireman’s carries, but Hiromu slips off to wheelbarrow and COMPLETE SHOT! Fans fire up while both men are down again! Evil crawls to a corner, Hiromu goes to the other. Hiromu runs but into a boot!
Hiromu roars and comes back, but is sent into bare buckles! Evil runs in to clothesline! Fireman’s carry, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives and fans are thunderous! Evil is furious again and he slashes his throat to say this is it! Evil gets Hiromu up but no STO! Hiromu RAMS Evil into the bare buckles! Hiromu crawls to the far corner, comes back, and SUPERKICKS! Evil runs in but Hiromu dodges to SUPERKICK again! Hiromu runs and DECKS Dick, then dodges Evil to HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER! Fans fire up as Hiromu fireman’s carries, swing for TIMEBOMB!! Cover, TWO!?!
Hiromu and Evil are both down and fans are electric! Hiromu roars and rises again! He drags Evil back up, dragon sleeper to suplex, but Evil slips out! Evil blocks the superkick, rakes Hiromu’s eyes, then throws the foot into Red Shoes! Red Shoes is down, Dick gets in to rain down fists on Hiromu! Dick and Evil drag Hiromu up, set him up, MAGIC KILLER!! Dick then tells Red Shoes to get up. Cover, TWO!!! Hiromu survives and Evil is furious again! Fans are thunderous but Evil again slashes the throat. Evil drags Hiromu up, but still no STO! Hiromu fires off elbows, so Evil whips him into bare buckles!
Hiromu roars and comes back, but Evil LARIATS! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives and Evil is losing his mind! Evil drags Hiromu up, spins him around, but still no STO! Wrench and Hiromu Roll! But Dick distracts Red Shoes!! Hiromu would’ve won already! Hiromu lets Evil go, but Evil reels him in! EVERY- NO! Hiromu shoves Evil into Dick! Dick hits railing, Hiromu steals EVERYTHING IS EVIL!!! High stack, Hiromu wins!!!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall (advances to the quarterfinals)
The Timebomb gets his revenge on Evil!! The Best of the Super Junior continues on in the New Japan Cup! After he catches his breath, Hiromu gets the mic to tell Evil, in English, “Welcome to the Hiromu-chan World!” Dick drags Evil out of the ring as Hiromu says, “Losing to your own techniques has to be the biggest humiliation to you! I’m sorry, but you and I have very different goals and motivations! You guys, House of Torture, Evil, I’m done with you. Evil no more.” Fans applaud that sentiment, and then Hiromu continues.
“I haven’t seen a crowd like this here in a long time.” Fans also applaud that. “Not since the days before COVID. Actually, there were even more back then. But, thank you so much for coming today. Next, I’ll face Shingo Takagi! Of course, I’m winning this! And after I win this, I’ll challenge El Desperado. I will challenge for the title you’re holding, the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Naturally, you’ll accept, won’t you?” Fans applaud that but Desperado doesn’t respond. Hiromu finishes up by saying, “Until then, let’s have more, more, more, more, more, MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE…! Fun together~!”
The Best of the Super Junior wants another trophy and another shot at the Rogue Luchador. But will Takagi have something to say about that?
A great event, and I chose to do more of these matches because I felt they were go-homes worth checking out. But a real shame about Sanada, it turns out he really did get hurt in that match with Ospreay. As NJPW says themselves, it is an orbital fracture. That’s pretty bad, he’s out for the rest of the Cup series of events, but no news on how it affects his IWGP US Championship reign. It’d be a damn shame if he lost that title because of injury, after how long it took him to get such a reign. That said, I feel like United Empire winning was going to happen anyway. Cobb has momentum but Naito will get the win because the go-home math dictates as such.
I really liked the tag match of Okada & Yano VS Tekkers. Tekkers win with a pin off Yano so that Okada isn’t really hurt, and so that Taichi gets another win over Mr. KOPW 2022. I’m going to really enjoy seeing Taichi take on Yano in some kind of wild stipulation. Takagi VS Chase was great stuff, one of Chase’s best singles matches, but I figured Takagi was going to win. The great shocker was Hiromu winning over Evil. It was an awesome match, even with Dick being the distraction half the time, but Hiromu brings his story with Evil full circle. Hiromu’s beaten Evil, given up on redeeming him, LIJ finally moves on from their past.
LIJ VS LIJ in the next round is also very surprising, it’s going to be awesome, but I’m leaning towards Takagi. Hiromu may want after Desperado but Sho’s probably got the next title match. Hiromu can take the winner, and we see how things go in the spring and summer.
My Score: 8.9/10
Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Road Results & Report! (7/4/22)
We’re in the homestretch!
NJPW is turning the corner towards the finish line!
While America celebrates its independence, NJPW has fireworks of their own! Will two Aces trump Bullet Club’s Bone Soldier Reborn & Fang Revived?
- Minoru Suzuki VS Kosei Fujita; Suzuki wins.
- TAKA Michinoku VS Satoshi Kojima; Kojima wins.
- Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Ryohei Oiwa; Honma & Makabe win.
- Six Man Tag: Yuji Nagata, Clark Connors & The DKC VS Suzuki-Gun; Suzuki-Gun wins.
- Six Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture; Chaos wins.
- 10 Man Tag: Alex Zayne, Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
- KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Taiji Ishimori & KENTA; Taiji & Kenta win.
PLAY BY PLAY
10 Man Tag: Alex Zayne, Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
The Sauce was part of yesterday’s winning combination in the main event, and now the table is set for a bigger meal! Will he, Six or Nine, the Stone Pitbull and the Rainmaker have their fill? Or will Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, Takagi y Naito be the ones having a fiesta before the G1?
LIJ first bumps and the teams sort out, we have Sanada and Ishii to start. Fans rally at the bell, “SA-NA-DA!” “I-SHI-I!” They tie up, Sanada wrenches to a wristlock but Ishii throws a body shot. Ishii wrenches to a hammerlock but Sanada switches it onto Ishii. Ishii switches it back, but Sanada switches again to then get a headlock. Ishii powers up and out, then avoids the boot. Sanada avoids the lariat but Ishii avoids another boot. Sanada gets around to waistlock and shove Ishii to a corner, then runs in. Ishii dodges but then Sanada dodges, and Sanada kicks. Ishii blocks that, spins Sanada to a waistlock, but Sanada throws elbows.
Ishii ducks the elbow but Sanada ducks a forearm to waistlock Ishii. Ishii swings elbows but Sanada ducks then trips Ishii. Sanada wants Paradise but Ishii kicks Sanada away. Sanada gets up but Ishii trips him! Ishii tries to steal Paradise but Sanada kicks him away! Fans applaud the exchange as the two stare down. Fans rally again, “SA-NA-DA!” “I-SHI-I!” They tie up again, Sanada waistlocks and shoves but Ishii holds ropes. Ishii runs in but into another waistlock. Ishii switches and shoves Sanada but Sanada holds ropes. Sanada runs in but Ishii avoids the basement dropkick. Sanada avoids the Penalty Kick and dropkicks!
Ishii stays up but runs into a forearm! Sanada runs, but Ishii runs him over! Fans fire up and the Stone Pitbull drags up Cold Skull. Ishii bumps Sanada off buckles and tags in Okada. Okada CLUBS Sanada, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the apron. Slingshot senton! Fans applaud and Okada drags Sanada up. Okada CLUBS Sanada again, and again, then whips him to ropes. Sanada reverses and Bushi hits Okada at the ropes! Okada’s team protests but Sanada dropkicks Okada’s leg out! Fans rally up while both men are down. Sanada tags Naito and he kicks and CLUBS away on Okada.
Naito whips Okada corner to corner, runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep and swinging dropkick! Combinacion Cabron! Naito strikes his pose and fans applaud. Naito drags Okada up, turns him around, but Okada fights off the neckbreaker. Okada kicks low to DDT! Fans rally up again as Okada drags Naito up. Tag to Taguchi and Wato comes in to knock down Hiromu. Taguchi CLUBS Naito, drags him up and gives him a point blank hip attack. Six or Nine double whip Naito to double drop toehold! And roll to double basement dropkick! Taguchi sees Bushi coming, Six or Nine double back elbow, double uppercut and DOUBLE SOBAT!
The ref reprimands but Six or Nine go back after Naito. They double whip him corner to corner, Taguchi CORNER HIPS! Taguchi then sets up for WATO IN MOTION! Wato sets up for HIP IN- NO, Naito dodges and Taguchi hits buckles! Hiromu uses Wato as a step, TIMEBOMB IN MOTION! Naito then kicks Wato and throws him out while Hiromu keeps after Taguchi. Hiromu and Naito double whip Taguchi but he ducks the clothesline. Taguchi jumps, but into a DOUBLE ATOMIC DROP! Naito then gets a boost from Hiromu to TORNADO DDT! Hiromu takes out Zayne and Ishii while fans fire up.
LIJ goes after Okada and the rest while Naito SPANKS Taguchi! And again! And again! Naito drags Taguchi up and tags in Takagi. LIJ mugs Taguchi with a DOUBLE SPANK! And a DOUBLE SPANK again! Takagi then reels Taguchi in for a BIG atomic drop! Taguchi staggers about, but Takagi throws knees against the ropes. The ref reprimands and Takagi lets off. Fans rally up for “TA-KA-GI!” “TA-GU-CHI!” while Taguchi flops over. Takagi brings Taguchi up and whips him to ropes, to KNEE him hard against them! Takagi reels Taguchi in to suplex high and hard! Cover, TWO! Taguchi is still in this and fans rally as Takagi drags him up.
Takagi YANKS and wrenches an arm, then tags in Bushi. LIJ go after Taguchi’s ass again with more spanks! Taguchi writhes but Bushi keeps him from his team. Bushi bumps Taguchi off buckles, stomps and CHOPS him, then brings him around to kick. Bushi goes up and missile dropkicks! BUSHIROONI! Fans rally up and Bushi stands on Taguchi’s face. Taguchi flails and Bushi covers, ROPEBREAK! Naito swats the foot away, Bushi covers again, TWO! Bushi CLUBS Taguchi down before he can get to his corner, and he stomps Taguchi’s ass! Bushi FISHERMAN- NO, Taguchi slips out! But Bushi kicks low!
Bushi runs, Taguchi jumps, but into another atomic drop! Bushi SPANKS Taguchi again! Bushi whips but Taguchi reverses to HIP ATTACK! Fans fire up while both men are down! They crawl for their corners, hot tags to Zayne and Hiromu! The Sauce rallies on LIJ, fires off elbows on Hiromu, then SOBATS! Zayne runs for the SOMERSAULT AX KICK! Direct hit and Hiromu flounders to a corner! Fans fire up and Zayne runs in corner to corner to back elbow! Zayne puts Hiromu up top but Naito runs in! Zayne sends Naito into Hiromu! Zayne then uses Naito as a boost to DRAGON RANA Hiromu off the top!
Fans fire up more and Zayne rolls Naito up to EDDY GORDO KICK! Fans rally and Zayne sees Hiromu regrouping with Sanada and Bushi. The ref is reprimanding those three and Zayne wants the ref to move. The ref doesn’t hear him so Zayne shrugs and builds speed! Zayne FLIES over the ref to wipe out LIJ! Fans are fired up and Zayne fetches Hiromu. Zayne puts Hiromu in, stalks him, then brings him up. Zayne wrenches and scoops, BAJA BLAST! Cover, TWO! Okada DECKS Takagi and has Zayne carry on. Fans rally up, “HI-RO-MU!” “AL-EX ZAYNE!” Zayne drags Hiromu up, wraps him up, but Hiromu fights the straitjacket.
Hiromu swings but into a spin. Hiromu catches Zayne’s clothesline and spins, then jumps up, but Zayne blocks the rana takedown! Zayne throws Hiromu away, but Hiromu wheelbarrows to COMPLETE SHOT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hiromu and Zayne stir, crawl for their corners, and Zayne hot tags Wato! The Way of the Grandmaster fires up as he brings Hiromu up. Hiromu fights the waistlock and elbows free. Hiromu blocks the kick, and the punch, but not the ELBOW! Wato runs, but into an elbow! Hiromu runs, into a dropkick! Wato fires up and fans fire up with him! Wato BUZZS- NO, Hiromu blocks the kick to a DRAGON SCREW!
Fans rally and Hiromu crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Takagi, and the Dragon says here it comes! Takagi runs in at Wato, blocks the boot and clotheslines! Takagi suplexes, Wato fights it, but Takagi turns it into a swinging neckbreaker! Cover, Okada breaks it! Okada coaches Wato and fans rally up. Takagi brings Wato up to throw elbows! Takagi then runs to SLID- NO, Wato dodges to BOOT and whip! Takagi reverses, but Wato RANAS! Taguchi knocks Naito and Bushi down, then Zayne and Wato double whip Takagi. Wato runs in but is put on the apron. Takagi does the same to Zayne, but Taguchi HIP ATTACKS!
Taguchi, Zayne and Wato coordinate, HIP AND DOUBLE KICK COMBO! Taguchi stands Takagi up for Wato’s FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, Hiromu breaks it! Taguchi throws Hiromu out and fans rally up. Wato goes back to a corner while Takagi snarls. Wato goes after Takagi, but he can’t scoop Takagi! But Takagi can scoop Wato! Wato fights free, CLUBS Takagi, but Takagi just shrugs. Wato runs, but into Takagi’s ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up and Takagi brings Wato up, to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Wato survives but Takagi points to the camera. There’s still more! “OI! OI! OI!”
Fans rally up and Takagi brings Wato up again. Pump handle but then Okada gets in. Takagi BOOTS Okada, JABS, but Okada FLAPJACKS Takagi! Naito runs in but into an uppercut. Okada whips but Naito avoids the dropkick to basement dropkick! Ishii runs in to run Naito over! Sanada fireman’s carries Ishii, to throw him into the dragon sleeper! Ishii slips out to suplex but Sanada slips out to ROCK Ishii! Sanada spins but into Ishii’s SUPLEX! Takagi PUMPING BOMBERS Ishii! Wato dodges to SCREW HIGH KICK! Wato waistlocks and HIGH ANGLE GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Wato is shocked but the fans fire up! Wato brings Takagi up, wrenches and hooks him, but Takagi fights the Mouse Trap. Takagi fireman’s carries but Wato CRUCIFIX DRIVERS! Cover, TWO! BUZZ- NO, Takagi ducks the kick! Takagi waistlocks but Wato elbows free and SOBATS! Front kick and SUPER- NO, Takagi blocks and shoves Wato, to pop-up DEATH VALLEY! Then Takagi runs to PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, TWO!! Wato survives and fans fire up! Bushi DIVES to take out Zayne! Takagi fires up and drags Wato back up. Pump handle and lift, MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall
The Dragon slays the Grandmaster, but he shows his respect with a pat on the chest. Wait, Taguchi tries to Iron Claw and maybe even Stink Face Hiromu! And Ishii stares down with Sanada. But with LIJ victorious, will their heavyweights take over the G1 Climax? Or will the Stone Pitbull have something to say about all that?
KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Taiji Ishimori & KENTA!
Speaking of that winning combination, the Time Splitter and the Once in a Century Talent are sticking together in a rematch with the Bone Soldier & Fang Revived! Will it only take a pair of Aces to win again? Or can the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion turn things around before the end of the New Japan Road?
Tanahashi shows off the muscles, and again fans are impressed. Taiji shows off his, too, though, to see who is better. The teams sort out and Kushida starts against Taiji for one more preview of their title match. They circle and fans rally. They tie up, Kushida goes low but Taiji uses that to waistlock. Kushida rolls and brings Taiji down then floats. Taiji resists the lateral press but Kushida goes after his legs. Kushida digs a knee in, throws down a palm strike, then tries for a press. Taiji moves around, gets Kushida’s arm but Kushida headscissors to counter. Kushida pushes up to put on the pressure, but Taiji moves around.
Taiji ties up Kushida’s legs then headstands to pop free. Fans applaud the opening exchange as the two reset. They feel out a knuckle lock, then Kushida KICKS a leg! And again! Kushida keeps his leg guard up as Taiji moves around. Kushida goes after a leg but Taiji pushes him away. Kushida jumps on to body scissor, then he knuckle locks and wrenches an arm. Kushida wrenches, full nelsons, spins Taiji and hammerlocks to then flying-mare! Kushida chinlocks but Taiji slips out to wrench and cover, ONE! Fans applaud as the two stand off again. Taiji backs away to his corner and Kenta tags in.
Kushida goes to his corner and he tags Tanahashi in. Fans rally “LET’S GO, ACE!” as Tanahashi and Kenta circle. Kenta starts up his own clap rhythm and fans follow along. The clapping duels between them, but the “LET’S GO, ACE!” wins out. Kenta is annoyed so he steps out to the apron. Fans clap for Kenta to try and get him back into this. Kenta steps back in slowly, but Tanahashi starts up “LET’S GO, ACE” again. Kenta tries even harder to get his clapping going, the dueling continues, and Tanahashi dares Kenta to come at him. They circle, but then Kenta uses ropes as defense. Tanahashi backs away and Kenta returns.
Kenta and Tanahashi finally approach, but Kenta again backs away to ropes. Tanahashi decides to join Kenta in the ropes. Tanahashi tells Kenta to get serious, and the two return to center. They approach and Kenta kicks low! Kenta headlocks and grinds Tanahashi down. Tanahashi pries the headlock open and turns it around onto Kenta! Fans applaud and now Kenta endures. Kenta powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight. Tanahashi grinds the headlock but Kenta pulls hair! Red Shoes reprimands but Tanahashi pulls Kenta’s hair! They both end up in a corner and Red Shoes counts. Tanahashi lets go to throw body shots!
Tanahashi whips corner to corner, Kenta reverses to uppercut! Kenta whips Tanahashi corner to corner now, but runs into an elbow! Tanahashi goes up to CROSSBODY! Fans rally as Tanahashi air guitars. Tanahashi brings Kenta over, tag to Kushida, and Tanahashi feeds Kenta to Kushida’s HOTSHOT! Kushida drags Kenta up, wrenches the arm and hits an ELBOW BREAKER! Things speed up but Kenta CLOBBERS Kushida and DECKS Tanahashi! Taiji gets in to throw Kushida out while Kenta whips Tanahashi hard into railing! Tanahashi drops in a heap while Taiji throws hands on Kushida.
Kushida hits Taiji back while Kenta rains down fists on Tanahashi! Taiji rakes Kushida’s eyes while Kenta stomps Tanahashi. Taiji puts Kushida in, CHOKES him, but Red Shoes reprimands. Kenta gets in to claw Kushida’s eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Kenta drags Kushida away to whip hard into the corner. Tag to Taiji, and they both dig their boots into Kushida. Red Shoes counts and they let off. Fans rally for “KU-SHI-DA!” as Taiji drags Kushida up. Taiji wrenches an arm, CLUBS it, then CLUBS it again. Taiji YANKS the arm, wrenches again, then snapmares Kushida to WRING the arm out!
Kushida writhes but Taiji smirks. Kushida CHOPS Taiji, but Taiji eggs him on. Kushida CHOPS again, but Taiji CHOPS back. Taiji CHOPS Kushida at the ropes, Kenta HOTSHOTS the arm! Red Shoes reprimands but Taiji says it is in return for what they did to Kenta. Taiji stands on Kushida’s hand then stomps Kushida’s head! Tag to Kenta, he drags Kushida back from Tanahashi. Kenta stomps the bad arm, then snapmares Kushida for a KICK! Kenta stares Tanahashi down then covers, ONE! Fans rally, Kenta tells them to shut up. Kushida throws body shots and forearms but Kenta knees low. Kenta whips, Kushida handsprings to BACK ELBOW!
Fans fire up and Kushida rolls, hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi drags Kenta up to fire off fast hands! Taiji gets in to CLUB Tanahashi! Red Shoes reprimands but Tanahashi SHOTEIS Taiji down! Taiji bails out and Tanahashi whips Kenta to a corner. Tanahashi runs in to SHOTGUN! And then HALF HATCH SUPLEX! Fans fire up and Tanahashi waits on Kenta to rise. Tanahashi runs, but Kenta sends Tanahashi out! Tanahashi skins the cat, but he has to BOOT Taiji away. Kenta SHOTGUNS Tanahashi down! Fans rally up while Taiji stomps Tanahashi. Kenta RAMS Kushida into railing and stomps him down!
Taiji drags Tanahashi up while Kenta DDTs Kushida to the floor! Taiji rakes Tanahashi’s eyes, then he goes after Kushida with haymakers. Kenta kicks Tanahashi while he’s down, puts him in the ring, then covers, TWO! Kenta wraps on a headscissor squeeze! Fans rally while Tanahashi endures, and he reaches out with a leg. Kenta squeezes tighter but Tanahashi gets the ROPEBREAK! Taiji swats the foot away but Red Shoes saw that. Red Shoes wants Kenta to let go but Kenta thrashes around. Red Shoes makes Kenta let go, and he drags Tanahashi over. Kenta whips Tanahashi into bare buckles!
Kenta CLAWS at Tanahashi’s shoulders! Kenta tags Taiji and Taiji hops up onto the top rope. Fans rally as Kenta stands Tanahashi up. Taiji jumps, to CLAW Tanahashi’s back! Tanahashi grits his teeth while he drops to the mat. Fans rally up and Taiji drags Tanahashi back up. Taiji reels Tanahashi in, to CLAW his back again! Red Shoes reprimands but Taiji smirks. Taiji drags Tanahashi up to wrench and whip into the bare buckles again! Tanahashi clutches that shoulder as he falls over but the fans still rally behind him. Taiji drags Tanahashi up but Tanahashi fires off body shots. Taiji KNEES low and CLAWS Tanahashi’s back again.
Tag to Kenta, he CLAWS Tanahashi, but Tanahashi CLAWS Kenta back! Fans rally, but Kenta DECKS Kushida to deny the tag! Kenta throws haymakers but Tanahashi fires up! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he powers up. Kenta runs, BOOTS, but Tanahashi stays up! Kenta BOOTS again but Tanahashi kicks, into a DRAGON SCREW! Kenta has the bad leg, turns Tanahashi over, STF! Tanahashi endures and fans rally, but Kushida barrels in to break the hold! Taiji throws Kushida out, then goes out after him while Kenta keeps on Tanahashi. Kenta RAMS Tanahashi into Red Shoes! Then he DDTs Tanahashi down!
Taiji whips Kushida into railing while Kenta searches under the ring. Kenta brings out a crutch! Kenta aims at Tanahashi, wanting revenge for being put on the shelf. But Tanahashi dodges the crutch to hit a SLINGBLADE! Fans fire up while both men are down! Taiji hides the crutch while Red Shoes returns. Fans rally, both men stir, and they head for their corners! Hot tags to Taiji and Kushida! Kushida climbs up to FLYING AX HANDLE! And KICK and KICK and KICK the arm! Kushida whips, Taiji reverses, but Kushida FLYING FOREARMS! Taiji gets up but Kushida wheelbarrows and victory rolls, STOMP 182! Cover, TWO!
Kushida rains down palm strikes on Taiji! Kushida then gets an arm, wrenches and ELBOW BREAKERS! PENALTY KICK to the arm! Kushida whips and hip tosses into the ARMBAR Tanahashi intercepts Kenta for the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! Fans rally while Bullet Club endures double submissions! Taiji fights around, rolls and gets the ROPEBREAK! Kushida and Tanahashi let Taiji and Kenta go, and Tanahashi kicks Kenta out. Kushida drags Taiji up as the fans rally. Kushida hammerlocks but Taiji fights free. Taiji ROCKS Kushida, but Kushida dropkicks the bad arm! Kushida keeps moving, tilt-o-whirl, but Taiji blocks!
Taiji powers up to CIPHER UTAKI! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi was late but Kushida survives on his own. Kenta attacks Tanahashi and throws him back out. Fans rally up for “KU-SHI-DA!” while Kenta fires off haymakers on Tanahashi. Kenta throws Tanahashi at the stage, and then brings him backstage! Taiji has Kushida all alone and says BANG! Taiji drags Kushida up, half hatch, but the bad arm holds him back! Kushida KICKS the arm, but Taiji hits MYSTICO! And BONE LOCK!! Kushida endures, flails, fans rally, but Taiji pulls back! KUSHIDA TAPS, TAIJI WINS!
Winner: Taiji Ishimori & Kenta, by submission
The Bone Solder just made the Time Splitter tap out! Kenta and Tanahashi still brawl, clearly wanting to start their G1 battle now! But with Kushida losing momentum, is this a sign he’s not quite up to speed yet? As for Taiji, he gets the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship back on, and gets the mic.
“I won! HAH! Kushida! I said I would put you to the test, and you failed. You want to challenge me? You’ve got to be kidding me. You thought you could just show up and beat me? Don’t take me so lightly, bastard. Let me say this: You’re a long way from the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship!” Taiji asks what Kushida has to say about that. Nothing? Then go home! Kushida does head backstage, clearly upset with himself more than anything. Taiji says we don’t know who is really challenging for the belt now.
“But I will defend this belt all over and prove that I am the definitive Junior Heavyweight Champion. In the end, the most important, most important, MOST IMPORTANT thing…! Oi, look at me. I’ll show you greatness and strength. It’s Reborn!” The Bone Soldier shoots down the Time Splitter, but will time only tell if Kushida can get back to the title?
Another good event for NJPW with just one more to go tomorrow. Chaos winning against House of Torture this time could just be to even out the math going into their NEVER Openweight Six Man title match. It’s still hard to tell how much NJPW puts into their go-home math, so maybe Chaos’ Goto, Hashi & Yoh still win those titles off Evil, Yujiro & Sho like I predicted yesterday. The 10 Man Tag was a lot of fun, and it seems Zayne has good chemistry with Taguchi and Wato if they ever wanted to be NEVER Openweight Six Man champions. But LIJ wins again to show they’re all going into the G1 Climax with great momentum.
The tag match main event was great stuff, but I had a feeling it would even out between Kushida and Taiji. The G1 takes center stage so it’s going to be some time before the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match happens. Both guys will be 100% rested by then so there won’t be any doubts or excuses (in kayfabe) as to who wins and loses that match.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (7/4/22)
Happy Independence Day, America!
Let’s see if there’s fireworks after Money in the Bank!
Liv Morgan became Ms. MITB, and then cashed in on the SmackDown Women’s Championship! Who will Bianca Belair defend her Raw Women’s title against at SummerSlam?
- Rey & Dominik Mysterio VS Finn Balor & Damian Priest; Rey & Dom win, by disqualification.
- The Miz VS AJ Styles; Styles wins.
- Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS Carmella & Natalya; Bianca & Liv win.
- Seth Rollins VS Ezekiel; Rollins wins.
- Six Man Tag: Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits VS (Austin) Theory & The Alpha Academy; Lashley & The Profits win.
- Gunther w/ Ludwig Kaiser VS R-Truth; Gunther wins.
- No Holds Barred: Asuka VS Becky Lynch; Becky wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Life. Liberty. The Pursuit of happiness.
We hold these truths to be self-evident. Now we celebrate the way only the WWE can! Be ready for the Big Time, hang out with your bros, and get ready to break the bank for this must-see Fourth of July Raw!
Welcome the NEW WWE United States Champion, Bobby Lashley!
San Diego is fired up to see that the All Mighty has gold again! Lashley is happy to see the fans, too, and he gets a mic to say, “I’ve been waiting for this moment a long time. And it couldn’t be a more fitting night than tonight to say this. Welcome to Monday Night Raw!” Fans chant for “BOBBY! BOBBY!” and Lashley says, “America’s Independence Day holds a very special place in all of our hearts.” Fans chant for “USA! USA!” and Lashley says he couldn’t be more proud to be here in front of the fans as the NEW United States Champion! But let’s not get it twisted. It isn’t the title that makes the man, it is the man that makes the title.
Lashley says that to say this, and please pay attention: “There is not another man in any division or any promotion that can beat me for this United States Championship.” But then (Austin) Theory has to make his way out. The former champion and new Mr. Money in the Bank has a mic of his own to tell Bobby, “Why do you get to kick off Monday Night Raw? Everybody’s been on the edge of their seats since Saturday, just waiting to hear from Mr. Headline himself, ME!” Sure, Lashley got his victory, but the world is talking about the YOUNGEST Mr. MITB in WWE History! Fans boo because that’s not true.
Theory says he had the odds stacked against him. It was hard work at MITB. Fans chant “You Suck!” and Lashley makes sure Theory knows it’s for him. Theory says shut up. He was in there with seasoned veterans, former MITB winners, but made it happen! Theory does have to admit, Lashley had him in the first half. But just like Michael Jordan or Tom Brady, Theory shined brighter than ever in the clutch! And Theory climbed up of the ladder and grabbed the briefcase to prove to the world that he can do this #ALLDAY! Lashley says he thought Theory was actively trying to become an arrogant jackass. But he was wrong, this is just second nature to Theory.
Did Theory ever think that he was gifted an opportunity he didn’t deserve just because Lashley shattered that fragile ego into a million pieces? But hey, if Theory wants another trip to the Hurt Lock, here it is! Theory says that Lashley will get a chance and fail to do so in their Six Man Tag. But Lashley, Theory sees him, Lashley sees Theory, and Theory just makes it happen. Theory always makes things happen. But the way Theory sees it, he’s going straight to the top! And y’know what? Theory was informed today that at SummerSlam, he gets a rematch to take back HIS United States Championship!
Boo all you want, fans, this is just the start! Theory knows Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns fight for the Undisputed Universal Championship one last time, one last match, Last Man Standing. They will beat the hell out of each other from one side of the stadium tot he other. And whoever is the last man standing, they go A-Town Down! At only 24 years old, Theory cashes in his contract and walks out the unified, undisputed, unquestionable, GREATEST CHAMPION in WWE history! Fans boo and Lashley says, “You forgot the If part of your whole plan. If you make it to SummerSlam! Because just like you said, it is Independence Day, and these people deserve some fireworks!”
Lashley throws down the mic, Theory tosses the case at him! Theory ROCKS Lashley then CLUBS away on him with the briefcase! Fans boo as Theory keeps hitting Lashley over an dover until the locks on it break! Theory goes back for one more, but Lashley blocks! And CLOBBERS Theory, to then MILE HIGH SPINEBUSTER!! Theory grabs the case and scrambles away while he can still move! Will Lashley end up clamping the Hurt Lock onto Theory later tonight and make him the youngest failed Mr. MITB in history?
Backstage interview with The Mysterios!
Megan asks if Rey & Dominik have a response to the inflammatory comments made by The Judgement Day? Dom says that what Finn said was both disgraceful and disrespectful. There is no one in this business Dom would rather learn from than El Jefe, his father, Rey Mysterio. Rey reminds everyone that he and Dom are the first and only father-son tag team champions in WWE history. They must be doing something right then. As far as tonight, it has been ten YEARS since Rey’s been back in San Diego to wrestle, and this is Dom’s first. And because this is their house, they’re going to teach Finn & Priest to respect 619!
Rey & Dominik Mysterio VS Finn Balor & Damian Priest!
San Diego is all fired up to have their hometown heroes live and in person! The music plays and the Mysterios watch the ramp, but the Judgement Day attack from behind! They stomp the Mysterios down, then throw them out! Raw goes picture in picture while fans boo the Prince and the Punishment!
Rey gets up and throws off his shirt. Dom gets up and does the same, and the Mysterios regroup. The Judgement Day wait on the hometown heroes, and Rey gets in the ring. The bell rings, Finn kicks Rey and bumps him off buckles. Finn fires off body shots, tags Priest, and Priest stands Rey up to ROCK with a right hand! Rey falls over, Priest stomps him then CHOKES him on the ropes! Priest lets off as the ref counts, then he KICKS Rey around. Priest bumps Rey off buckles, tags Finn back in, and the Judgement Day mug Rey. Finn brings Rey out to knee but Rey throws body shots. Rey runs and slides to SOBAT!
Rey KICKS Finn more, then runs, only for Finn to CLOBBER him! Cover, TWO! Finn clamps onto Rey with a chinlock and grinds him down. Rey endures, fights up, but Finn knees him low. Finn CHOPS Rey in a corner, whips him corner to corner hard, and soaks up the heat as Rey falls to the mat. Finn drags Rey up, whips him corner to corner hard again, and Rey writhes. Finn stalks Rey, kicks him at the ropes, stomps him into the corner, and digs his boots in! The ref counts, Finn lets off, and Finn stands Rey up to whip him corner to corner again. Raw returns as Rey hits buckles but Rey hits Finn back! Rey tilt-o-whirl RANAS Finn away!
Hot tag to Dom! Dom dropkicks Finn, then arm-drags him around! Dom runs in at the corner but Finn kicks low. Finn bumps Dom off buckles, but Dom dodges the chop! Dom knuckle locks, CHOPS, and goes up and up to FLYING ARM-DRAG! Finn gets to his corner and tags Priest but Dom doesn’t back down. Priest kick slow, CLUBS Dom, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Priest whips Dom to ropes but Dom holds ropes. Dom elbows Priest, dodges the haymaker and whips Priest to dropkick him! Priest comes back but Dom dumps him out! Tag to Rey and he SEATED SENTONS Priest down! Fans fire up while Finn freaks out!
Rey puts Priest in, Finn runs over but Rey BOOTS him! Rey slingshots, but Priest DECKS him out of the air! Priest drags Rey up, bumps him off buckles and throws body shots. Tag to Finn, Finn stomps Rey and brings him out to scoop. Rey slips off and ENZIGURIS! Hot tag to Dom! Dom goes up top to CROSSBODY! Dom DECKS Priest, then CLOBBERS Finn! Dom whips, Finn reverses but Dom holds ropes again. Dom drop toeholds Finn to ropes! Priest hurries to tag in as Dom dials it up! Priest intercepts the call and drags Dom out, to TOSS into barriers! The Judgement Day is back on top as Raw goes picture in picture again!
Dom writhes while Priest looms over him. Priest drags Dom up, scoops him and hits SNAKE EYES off the apron! Dom flounders and Priest hauls him back up and in. Priest stares Rey down then gest in the ring. Priest drags Dom up to tag Finn. Priest scoop SLAMS Dom for Finn to SLINGSHOT STOMP! Finn paces around as he soaks up the heat, then he goes back for Dom. Finn drops elbow after elbow, then covers, TWO! Dom is still in this but Finn clamps on a chinlock. Dom endures as Finn grinds him down. San Diego rallies for Dom and he fights up, only for Finn to throw him down by his hair!
Tag to Priest and the Judgement Day mugs Dom against ropes. Priest stands Dom up, whips him into the corner, then taunts Rey. Priest runs in to back elbow Dom! Tag to Finn, the Judgement Day mugs Dom again, then Finn snapmares and KICKS! Cover, TWO! Finn drags Dom up by his hair and throws down elbows while staring down Rey. Rey coaches Dom but Finn clamps the chinlock back on. Dom endures again while the fans rally up. Dom fights to his feet, throws elbows, and Raw returns to single picture. Dom reaches for Rey but Finn throws knees. Finn whips but Dom kicks him, and SLING-DOGS!
Fans fire up as Dom and Finn crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Priest and Rey! The King of Lucha rallies with dropkicks to the legs! And then KICKS the leg! Rey whips but Priest blocks! Priest whips Rey to a corner but Rey goes up, only to get caught. TORNADO DDT COUNTER! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives but Rey hurries to a corner. Rey climbs up but Priest gets him first! Rey RAMS into Priest, GAMANGIRIS, then climbs back up. SEATED SENTON! Cover, Finn breaks it! Dom gets in o SUPERKICK Finn! Dom and Rey regroup, Dom runs in but Priest BOOTS him! Rey gets a boost from Dom to SUPER RANA Priest! Cover, TWO!!
Rey keeps cool and he calls the shots. Rey dropkicks Priest to the ropes and dials it up! Fans want it, but Priest BOOTS Rey down! Still no call connecting, and Priest ROUNDHOUSES Dom for good measure! Priest drags Rey up, fireman’s carries, and he tags in Finn. WASTELAND SLAM from Priest, Finn is up top and COUP DE- NO, Rey dodges! Rey dropkicks legs out and Finn is on ropes! Priest gets in but Dom dropkicks and Rey drop toeholds! Dial it up, DOUBLE 619!! Fans fire up and Rey climbs up, gives some Latino Heat! FROG SPLASH onto knees! Finn covers, TWO!! Rey survives and Finn can’t believe it!
But Priest throws a chair in! The ref is upset, he stops that from happening. But Finn gets another chair, only for Dom to have it! Finn shoves Dom down, but Rey flops! Talk about Latino Heat! The ref sees this, and he assumes just what Rey wants him to! The Judgement Day is DISQUALIFIED!!
Winners: Rey & Dominik Mysterio, by disqualification
Finn is furious! Rey & Dom give true tribute to Eddie Guerrero and the fans love it! Will The Judgement Day ever live this one down? Do they have something to learn from Mysterio?
Backstage interview with The Miz.
Megan asks Miz what his reaction was to Logan Paul calling him out. “Proud.” Really? Yes. Miz is proud because he loves confidence, outlandish statements and headline grabbing. That is what Logan Paul does on his social media and podcasts. It is how he has his fanbase! But Logan surrounds himself with Yes Men and Yes Women who do what he says. Out there, it’s successful. But here in the WWE, it’s a different animal. It will humble you. Miz knows. He was on The Real World. But he doesn’t want Logan to make the same mistakes Miz did. Miz is a nice guy! Logan, retract your statement and accept Miz’s offer. They will be a success, they will be Undisputed Tag Team Champions!
But if Logan doesn’t, Miz will be relentless! He will make Logan earn everything, and Logan will be humbled! Speaking of which… Last week, Miz basically quite against AJ Styles. Uh, quit? He had two matches last week! If anyone is quitting, tapping out or being pin, it is Styles! Miz doesn’t take to sophomoric jokes. As in, his tiny- NO! Don’t say it, Megan. Miz will show everyone that he has COLOSSAL, MASSIVE, GIGANTIC, AMERICAN BALLS! He is the Miz! And he’s… AWESOME! But will Miz back up his words with actions? Or will this be another phenomenal win for AJ Styles?
The Street Profits host a party in the parking lot!
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to their Fourth of July Extravaganza Bonanza Cookout! They got burgers, ribs, dogs, beverages, corn on the cob and cornholing! Enjoy America’s 246th Birthday! But just like Montez Ford’s shoulder on Saturday, the USA is up! And WE! WANT! SHOOOOOSH! The Alpha Academy crash the party, and Chad Gable says this is typical. How can the Profits be partying after losing at MITB? And spare them the excuses. Shoulder up or not, a loss is a loss. And just like everyone else, The Profits think this holiday is about parties and fireworks and eating food. Pathetic!
But Master Gable has a history lesson in an annotated version of the Declaration of Independence. So please, shoosh! A thank yew. Gable begins reading but Ford intercepts. “These truths to be self-evident. That every man and woman has the right to shut Chad Gable up!” That doesn’t say that! SLAP! Gable is upset but Otis says not to disrespect an American Olympian! And Otis says he can eat TWENTY of those hotdogs without breaking a sweat! Whoa, whoa, whoa. First off, if you’re talking about American heroes, Ford served as a US Marine. Second, Otis is looking at the THREE-TIME Hotdog Eating Champion in Dawkins! THREE! Otis says he can suck ’em down like Coca Cola!
Whoa, okay, hold on. Idea! HOTDOG EATING CONTEST! Otis says no problem! He’ll take Dawkins down! There’s going to be a hotdog eating contest before their Six Man Tag match later? Hopefully there won’t be any upset stomachs tonight…
The Mysterios are backstage, when the Judgement Day attacks again!
Finn & Priest are sore losers! Finn TOSSES Rey over trunks while Priest SMACKS Dom off some! Finn gets a ladder, Priest scoops Dom, and they LAWN DART Dom into the ladder! Refs and security rush in but Finn tells them it is over when Finn says it’s over! Priest tells Rey that nothing will save him or Dom except giving in. Will the Mysterios made made to side with the Judgement Day?
The Miz VS AJ Styles!
Raw returns as The Miz makes his entrance. The bell rings and Miz rushes in, but Styles blocks the kick! Styles headlocks, Miz powers out but Styles runs Miz over. Styles runs but fakes Miz out to KICK him while he’s down. Styles then snapmares Miz to KICK him again! Styles drags Miz up to CHOP him in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Miz reverses, Styles comes back but Miz kitchen sink knees! Miz bumps Styles off buckles, fans boo but Miz throws haymakers. Miz whips Styles to ropes but Styles turns knee into roll-up! TWO, and Styles dropkicks Miz back down! Styles clotheslines Miz out of the ring, too!
Fans fire up and Styles throws up the Too Sweet. Styles slingshots to FOREARM Miz down! Styles is fired up as Raw goes picture in picture. Styles drags Miz up and puts him in the ring. Styles stalks Miz but Miz slips out again. The ring count climbs, is Miz going to run away again? Styles goes out to chase him down! Miz gets back in the ring and KICKS Styles as he slides in! Miz digs his boot into Styles’ face, springboard stomps him, then soaks up the heat. Styles sits up but Miz KICKS him! And KICKS! Miz fishhooks Styles’ face, then clamps on a chinlock. Styles endures, fights up, and throws elbows to get free.
Styles swings but into Miz’s A-LIST COMBINATION! Cover, TWO! Miz flexes and fans boo. Miz paces around, flexes more but fans still boo. They taunt him about his “TINY BALLS!” Miz goes back to Styles and says he has MASSIVE balls! But Styles ROCKS him with haymakers! Styles whips Miz corner to corner, Miz reverses, and Styles hits hard, chest first! Miz hurries to cover Styles, TWO! Miz is annoyed but he drags Styles up to bump him off buckles. Miz KICKS and throws haymakers on repeat. The ref reprimands, Miz runs corner to corner, but only into buckles! Miz falls, clutching his legs, and Raw returns to single picture.
Fans rally as Styles and Miz stir. Miz is back in the corner, he hobbles out but Styles throws hands! Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz, topping it off with a LARIAT! And SLIDING FOREARM! Fans fire up and Styles runs in at the corner, to hit a BIG clotheslines! then a fireman’s carry to an USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Styles is frustrated but fans rally up behind him. Miz wants mercy but Styles storms up on him. Miz YANKS Styles into buckles! Miz gets up, runs corner to corner, but into a clinch! Styles rolls Miz but Miz rolls through to BASEMENT DDT! Cover, TWO! Miz is frustrated but he glares at Styles as he stirs.
Miz drives knees into Styles’ leg. Miz steps through, Styles kicks Miz away! Styles is in a corner, Miz runs in but into BOOTS! Styles is on the apron, he springboards, PHENOMENAL FOREARM! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
Big or small, Miz’s nuts didn’t help against Styles’ guts! But wait! CIAMPA attacks! Why is the Blackhearted Tommaso Ciampa after Styles on Miz’s behalf? Ciampa POSTS Styles, then brings down his kneepad! Styles flounders back into the ring, for the PSYCHO- NO, Styles dodges the knee to PELE! And PELE again! Styles reels Ciampa in, but Miz gest the full nelson! SKULL CRUSHING FINALE!! Miz gets the last word against Styles thanks to his Guardian Psycho! Will Ciampa watch out for the Hollywood A-Lister against Logan Paul, too?
Liv Morgan is here!
And after becoming the new Miss Money in the Bank, she cashed in on Ronda Rousey, and became the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! San Diego is fired up to see her have this moment, “You Deserve It!” Liv is already emotional as she has the mic, but she keeps it together to say thank you, “but WE deserve it!” Liv is so proud to be standing here as our NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! “All of my dreams finally came true, all thanks to one unbelievable night at Money in the Bank. To outclimb six of the greatest female competitors in WWE, in the hardest battle of my life. But do you guys know what got me through that? All of you guys!”
The fans have stayed with Liv on this journey every single step of the way, and she thanks us for that. We believed in her when she feels like she gave us nothing to believe in, and yet we still stayed with her. Liv is so excited now, and she wants us to know that we gave her the confidence she needed to win MITB and cash-in on the very same night, to defeat Ronda Rousey and become the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! “Saying that out loud, it literally, it takes my breath away. So I hope you guys understand that this? This isn’t just for me. This championship, this is for ALL OF US!” But then here comes Natalya!
Liv is surprised to see the Queen of Harts here, but Natty is smiling. “Liv, there’s one person here that you should be thank, and that’s me. I am the only reason, and I mean only reason, why you were able to cash in your MITB contract. That’s because I destroyed Ronda Rousey’s knee with the most dangerous submission in the WWE, the Sharpshooter.” Natty gets in the ring with Liv to say that while she’d like a thank you, she’d much rather have that SmackDown Women’s Championship! Liv says okay, but she feels like Natty is having a hard time accepting her loss. But since Liv is the new champion, it makes total sense that Natty would come after this giant target.
But since they’re both on SmackDown, if Natty really, really wants her chance, you know where to find her. But wait! Is that Carmella? Mella wants someone to explain to her why either of them are here? This may be about red, white and blue tonight, but this is Raw. So these two can take their “blue brand butts” back to SmackDown where they belong. Fans boo and Mella is honestly shocked that these two can even share a ring. If Liv came between Mella and the Raw title, she would smack her down just like she did Bianca Belair. Did you see that? It was so good. But no worries, Nat, there’s still time.
So Natty and Liv can take their business to Friday so the spotlight can be on Mella, the next Raw Women’s Champion. Um, didn’t she have enough? After all, all eyes were on Mella when she lost. But if Mella really wants Liv to go, make her go. That gives Mella an idea. Natty, you thinking what she’s thinking? Then okay! They’ll both make Liv leave! Liv fires off hands first! But that’s 2v1! They put Liv in a corner and stomp away, but here comes BIANCA BELAIR! The Raw Women’s Champion gets in, RAMS into Mella, then slingshots to fire off! The champions turn things around on Natty and Mella! Liv tosses Natty, Bianca DECKS Mella, and now Adam Pearce hurries out!
Pearce says it seems everyone wants to fight, so he officially gives these four a match! It will be Bianca & Liv VS Mella & Natty, and that is NOW! Will the RawEST Women’s Champion and the newest SmackDown Women’s Champion stand their ground and turn back the Most Beautiful and the BOAT?
Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS Carmella & Natalya!
Raw is picture-in-picture while the teams sort out. Natty tells fans to shut up, and Mella steps up against Bianca. Fans chant for “E S T!” as the bell rings and the two circle. Mella tells fans to shut up, then she ties up with Bianca. They go around, Bianca headlocks and grinds Mella, but Mella pulls hair. The ref reprimands, but Bianca hits a takeover. Bianca grinds Mella down but Mella headscissors back. Bianca kicks but can’t get free until she kips up. Mella is upset but Bianca eggs Mella on. They circle again, tie back up, and Mella waistlocks. Bianca switches, Mella elbows free, then headlocks Bianca.
Mella grinds, Bianca fights up as fans rally, and Bianca powers out to run Mella over! Mella scrambles away and tags in Natty. Natty wants Liv so Bianca obliges. Liv tags in and she circles with Natty. They tie up, Natty hits a headlock takeover but Liv headscissors. Natty kips free, and the two reset. Liv brushes herself off while Natty mockingly applauds. Liv kicks low, headlocks, and hits a takeover. Natty headscissors, Liv kips free, and the two reset again. Tags back to Bianca and Mella, and they go again. Bianca kicks low, bumps Mella off buckles, and Raw returns to single picture as Bianca headlocks.
Mella powers out, Bianca handsprings over and says kiss this! Things speed up, Bianca hurdles, but Mella drop son the roll! Cover, TWO, Bianca waistlocks and O’Conner Rolls! ONE, Bianca goes up the corner to say kiss this! Mella runs in, Bianca goes up and over to dropkick! And kip up! Fans fire up and Bianca tags Liv. The champs work together, Bianca whips Liv in to body block! Cover, TWO! Liv hurries after Mella but Mella tags in Natty. Natty runs in to trip Liv, float to a facelock, but Liv slips out to hammerlock and headlock. Natty powers out, Liv elbows her away. But Natty rebounds and SIT-DOWNS, then basement dropkicks! Cover, TWO!
Natty keeps on Liv but Liv wheelbarrows to victory roll! TWO, Liv dropkicks Natty down! Cover, TWO! Liv taunts Mella, whips Natty to ropes, but Natty reverses and Liv hits ropes chest first hard! Cover, TWO! Natty CLUBS Liv, SLAPS her, but Liv SLAPS back! It’s a brawl! Fans fire up, Natty hoists Liv up but Liv kicks and sunset flips! ONE, Natty has the legs! SHARPSHOOTER! Liv endures, reaches for Bianca, Bianca uses her hair as a lifeline! The ref reprimands but Liv has made it to the corner! Bianca tags in, then taunts Natty! Natty swings on her but gets run over! Bianca dropkicks Natty then reels her in! POWER- NO, RANA from Natty!
Bianca ducks the discus to BOOT Natty, then reel her in! Bianca suplexes, but Mella runs in! Bianca BOOTS Mella, but Natty gets free of the suplex to get the legs! Bianca kicks her away but Mella sneaks a tag! Bianca suplexes Natty again for the stalling suplex and SLAM! Natty scurries away, Bianca pursues, FABULOUS KICK into the post! Mella smiles and taunts Bianca while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Mella has Bianca down in a chinlock. Mella laughs as she leans on the hold but Bianca endures. Fans rally up and Bianca fights to move around. Mella shakes her head and become a backpack, but Bianca still stands! Bianca brings Mella around for a BACKBREAKER! Hot tag to Natty and she CLOBBERS Bianca! Natty drags Bianca away, bumps her off buckles, and fires off stomps! The ref counts, Natty lets off, and Bianca fights back! She hits Mella, BOOTS Natty, then dodges Natty to send her out! Fans fire up as Bianca crawls, but Natty gets back in! Natty gets a leg but Bianca leaps to tag Liv!
Liv dodges Natty, DECKS Mella, kicks Natty and ENZIGURIS! Fans fire up with Liv and she runs in at Natty in the corner, SHINING WIZARD! Liv shoves Natty to run and FLYING CODE BREAKER! Cover, Mella breaks it! Mella talks trash on the new champ but Liv hits a CODE BREAKER on her! Natty hits a DISCUS! Cover, Bianca breaks it! Mella throws Bianca out and leaps, but into Bianca’s arms! Bianca aims but Mella slips off to POST her! Liv KNEES Mella, Natty rolls Liv! TWO, but Natty has the legs! SHARP- NO, Liv kicks Natty to ropes, ObLIVion!! Cover, Liv and Bianca wins!
Winners: Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan, by pinfall
The champions stand tall! Another great moment for the livliEST champions in WWE today, will they both move on to have the hottEST SummerSlams ever?
Raw returns to the cookout!
Otis and Gable talk hotdog eating strategy while other superstars, like Shelton Benjamin, “Doudrop” Piper Niven and others enjoy their meals. Veer Mahaan is even here. Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali decide to have a little fun with the Lion of India. Alexander leans over and taps Veer on the left shoulder, but then he and Ali both go to the right so that no one is there. And then they snatch his food! Veer is furious and he chases them down! MVP tells Omos that the takeaway from MITB is this: It took three former world champions and three future world champions to gang up on Omos because he is literally the biggest threat here!
Dana Brooke rushes in, but she’s being chased down by the usual 24/7 Championship hunters. Omos looks that way, and Reggie bumps into him! Not again! Omos TOSSES Reggie into the trash! The Profits see that and say, “SHEESH!” Then Zeke is here and says it is so beautiful here. The party is bumping, he is all Zeked Up. When he and his brothers were kid, they got into pie eating contests all the time. Really? Who won? Uh, well, let’s just say no one. Zeke would “Zeke” the pie all over the floor, Elrod would throw up after seeing that, then Elias would throw up after seeing that. A real barforama.
But anyway, isn’t it about time for the hotdog eating showdown? Hopefully the results are better than him and his brothers. But then the ketchup misfires all over Seth Rollins’ lace shirt. Zeke apologizes and dabs it off with the hotdog bun. Oh, there’s some in Rollins’ beard… Rollins glares at Zeke, but then laughs it off? The Profits and Zeke laugh with him, but then Rollins gets mad again. Rollins tastes the ketchup then heads off. Whoa, Seth is Zekeing out. Seth Zekein’ Rollins here. But Zeke is worried. Will the Visionary burn him down?
A cryptic video plays.
A church and candles. A gold medal, a license plate, some colorful armbands, a pair of taped-up glasses. Do you think you know who this is?
Seth Rollins VS Ezekiel!
Raw returns and Elias’ younger brother makes his entrance. The bell rings and Rollins fires off on Zeke for the ketchup! Zeke covers up but Rollins stomps away on him in the corner! The ref counts, Rollins lets off, and then he drags Zeke up to CHOP him! Zeke staggers away but Rollins bumps him off buckles. Rollins whips Zeke but Zeke reverses. Rollins tumbles up, back, and into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Rollins bails out and Zeke hurries after him! Rollins hurries back in, Zeke chases after, but Rollins HOTSHOTS Zeke off ropes! Rollins then turns Zeke for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Rollins is annoyed but fans rally for Zeke. Rollins ROCKS Zeke with haymakers and forearms, then has Zeke in a corner. Rollins CHOPS, then whips corner to corner, but Zeke goes up and MULE KICKS Rollins away! Just like his brother! Zeke runs in to CHOP and fire off body shots and forearms! The ref counts but Zeke fires off more! Zeke whips, then FLAPJACKS Rollins! Rollins staggers up, into a CHOP! Zeke trophy lifts, but Rollins slips off to shove. Zeke tosses Rollins out to the floor! Zeke hurries after Rollins again but Rollins kicks low. Rollins snarls, runs in, but Zeke trophy lifts him to TOSS him into the timekeeper’s area! Zeke roars as Raw goes picture in picture!
Zeke takes a moment to catch his breath, then he gets in the ring. Zeke goes back out to fetch Rollins, stomping him before bringing him around. But Rollins POSTS Zeke! Rollins gets in the ring, lets the ring count climb, and Zeke gets in at 7 of 10! Rollins is annoyed, he drags Zeke up and turns him, for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Rollins clamps on with a chinlock, then shifts to a neck wrench. Rollins twists Zeke’s head but Zeke endures and reaches for ropes. Zeke fights up as fans rally, and Zeke throws elbows. Zeke is free, he runs, but Rollins follows to SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO!
Rollins huffs and puffs while Zeke goes to a corner. Rollins talks smack to the fans then runs corner to corner, but Zeke puts him on the apron! Rollins HOTSHOTS Zeke, then springboards, to FLYING KNEE! Cover, TWO! Zeke is still in this and Rollins is frustrated. Rollins argues the count but the ref says it was fair. Rollins looms over Zeke, hearing the fans chanting for Elias’ brother. Rollins drags Zeke up and suplexes, but Zeke blocks! Raw returns to single picture as Zeke keeps fighting, to then suplex Rollins back! Both men are down and fans rally again. Rollins runs in but Zeke CLOBBERS Rollins!
Zeke starts to rally, he ducks a haymaker to lift Rollins for a FALL AWAY SLAM! Rollins flounders to a corner and Zeke runs in, STINGER SPLASH! Zeke keeps moving, STINGER SPLASH to the back! Then an Electric Chair Lift! Rollins slips off, runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! High stack, TWO! Zeke is a bit frustrated and he has to catch his breath. Zeke aims at Rollins from across the way, runs in again, but no splash! BUCKLE SHOT! Rollins then goes up the corner to leap and- JUMP KNEE from Zeke! Cover, TWO! Zeke keeps going, he hits a FISHERMAN SCREW! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives and Zeke can’t believe it!
Zeke drags Rollins to the drop zone and he climbs up top. Fans fire up, but Rollins ROCKS Zeke first! Rollins throws more haymakers, then he climbs up after Zeke. Rollins brings Zeke around, but Zeke shoves Rollins away! Zeke adjusts but Rollins is right back up! Zeke fights Rollins again, slips under to get the Electric Chair, SPIN-OUT BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives again, and Zeke is learning why Rollins is a Grand Slam Champion. Zeke drags Rollins up, fans continue to rally, and Rollins kicks low. Rollins hits a ROLLING ELBOW, but Zeke ROCKS Rollins again. Rollins ROCKS Zeke, Zeke ROCKS Rollins back!
Rollins ROCKS Zeke, Zeke ROCKS Rollins, we go faster and faster and fans fire up! Zeke CHOPS and forearms but Rollins HEABUTTS! ROLLING- NO, roll-up! Cover, TWO! Zeke hurries to cradle, TWO! Rollins ROLLING ELBOWS Zeke, then gives him the DREAM- NO, Zeke backslides! TWO!! CURB STOMP OUTTA NOWHERE!! Cover, Rollins wins!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall
What a Freakin’ Zekein match! Rollins gets revenge for his ruined wardrobe, but will this help him get back up towards a title in time for SummerSlam? Will Elias and Elrod be there for their brother to cheer him up?
Wait, Rollins turns to look at Zeke again. Rollins isn’t done with Zeke and aims from the corner! But Riddle hits an RKO outta nowhere!! The Bro gets his own revenge! Will Rollins have to worry about The Stallion before moving on to the gold?
Raw returns to the cookout!
The hotdog eating contest is red hot as Dawkins and Otis chow down. It’s hard to say who is in the lead, but when time is up… AKIRA TOZAWA wins! His 48 dwarfs Otis’ 23 and Dawkins’ 22! Gable says there’s no way! No way some little guy beat his tree trunk! Otis say she doesn’t feel so good. But Theory says the Academy has to hold it together, the Six Man Tag is coming up. See you all in the ring. Gable says he can just get some Pepto. But will that be enough to settle Otis’ upset stomach before having to go toe-to-toe with the All Mighty?
Six Man Tag: Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits VS (Austin) Theory & The Alpha Academy!
The Rocky Mountain Machine is the NEW United States Champion, while Ford & Dawkins were almost Undisputed Tag Team Champions. Will Lashley help the Profits get back up and get after those titles again? Or will the youngest Mr. MITB ever be taking an extra special selfie here tonight?
Raw returns and the Profits make their entrance. Theory makes his entrance next, followed by the Academy. The teams sort out and Dawkins starts against Theory. They circle, tie up, and Theory headlocks. Dawkins powers out, but Theory runs him over and flexes at Lashley. Fans boo but Theory just soaks it up. Theory and Dawkins circle again, tie back up, and Dawkins waistlocks. Theory elbows free, throws haymakers, then whips corner to corner. Dawkins reverses and runs in to CYCLONE SPLASH, then ENZIGURI! Dawkins covers, ONE!! Dawkins keeps on Theory but Theory powers him to the corner and Otis tags in.
Fans chant “We Want The Smoke!” but Otis clubs away on Dawkins, to then short arm LARIAT! Tag to Gable, he drags Dawkins up to get a leg and DRAGON SCREW! Then Gable stands Dawkins back up, for another DRAGON SCREW! Gable YANKS the leg, then says “A Thank Yew~!” Gable brings Dawkins up but Dawkins fires hands! Gable keeps Dawkins from his corner but Dawkins sunset flips. Gable rolls through to get an ANKLE LOCK! Dawkins rolls through to get free! Tag to Ford! Ford GAMANGIRIS Gable, goes right up and CROSSBODIES! Ford keeps going, sidestep and follow to a LARIAT! STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!
Tag to Dawkins, Otis runs in and the Profits dump him out. Theory rushes in, into Lashley’s COMPLETE SHOT! Lashley and Ford get Theory and Gable, for double stalling suplexes! They both salute as veterans of the US Armed Forces, for a DOUBLE SLAM! Fans fire up and Dawkins runs to get a boost and FLY onto Theory and the Academy! Fans fire up with the #AllMightyProfits as Raw goes picture in picture!
Theory and the Academy stir while Ford rallies the fans. A ring count climbs, so Ford goes out to AX HANDLE Gable! Ford puts Gable in, keeps him from his corner, but Gable powers Ford back. Otis tags in, the Academy whip and CLOBBER Ford! Otis flexes at Lashley, Gable says, “A Thank Yew!” Otis drags Ford up, CLUBS him hard on the back, then looms over him. Otis stands on Ford’s back at the ropes! The ref counts, Otis steps off, and Gable gets cheap shots in! So does Theory! “A Thank Yew!” Otis drags Ford up to whip him hard into a corner! Otis HEADBUTTS Ford down, then CHOKES him on ropes!
The ref counts, Otis lets off at 4, but now Theory CHOKES Ford! Theory gets away with it as Gable tells fans to SHOOSH. Otis stomps Ford, drags him over, and tags in Theory. They mug Ford, Theory brings Ford up to snap suplex, then he floats to a cover. TWO but Theory clamps on with a chinlock. Ford endures, even as Theory leans on him. Ford fights up, Theory knees him low, then whips him hard into a corner! Corner clothesline and a tag to Otis, and Otis taunts Ford. Otis brings Ford up to CLUB him down, and Raw returns to single picture as Otis hoists Ford up. FALL AWAY SLAM! Ford flounders while Otis flexes.
Fans boo but Otis takes a moment to settle his stomach. Otis SPLASHES Ford in the corner, drags him over to the corner, and tags in Theory. They mug Ford, Theory snapmares and stomps Ford! Cover, TWO! Theory clamps on with another chinlock but Ford endures. Fans rally, Ford grits his teeth and fights up again, but Theory knees him low. Theory taunts, but Ford wrenches out to DDT Theory down! Gable rushes in but Ford throws him out! Ford reaches out but Gable trips Dawkins to deny the tag! Theory then keeps Ford from Lashley while Dawkins chases Gable. Otis CLOBBERS Dawkins in front of commentary!
Fans boo but Theory and the Academy have control. Theory drags Ford up, taunts Lashley, and back suplexes. Ford lands on his feet, dodges Theory, hot tag to Lashley! Theory runs away to tag Gable! Lashley TOSSES Gable! And runs him over! Lashley rallies while Theory winces, and Lashley TOSSES Gable to a corner. Lashley run sin but Gable elbows him, Gable runs in, into a LIFTING COMPLETE SHOT! Lashley DECKS Otis, Theory runs away gain. Dawkins POUNCES Theory over the announce desk! Lashley is surprised, too! Lashley nods, then scoops Gable to hit a POWERSLAM! Cover, Otis breaks it!
But that splash hurt Otis’ gut! Ford gets in, runs in but Otis TOSSES Ford! Otis CLOBBERS Dawkins with an elbow, but Lashley SPEARS Otis down! Ford is up, FROM THE HEAVENS!! Otis flounders out, Gable rolls Ford! CHAOS THEORY!! Gable dodges Lashley, gets him for an EXPLODER, and then heads up top! MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Lashley survives and Gable is upset with the count. Gable stalks Lashley, waistlocks, but Lashley bucks him away. Lashley dodges to SPEAR Gable down! Cover, Lashley and the Profits win!
Winners: Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits, by pinfall
A mighty win for a mighty champion! Will this momentum help Lashley defeat Theory again? Will the Profits be able to cash in on a rematch of their own? As for Otis, he staggers into the ring, and BARFS UP HOTDOGS! Everyone is disgusted and shocked, will Gable’s number one guy be feeling more like number two?
Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.
But Becky tells Megan that no one gives a damn about anything but Big Time. Becky isn’t sharing spotlights just because Otis ate one too many hotdogs. Is Becky upset about her loss at MITB? Or just about tonight’s No Holds Barred? Becky IS upset, her body is broken to bits, and she is mad as hell. Ever since Asuka came back, anything that could go wrong has gone wrong! Becky shouldn’t have had to fight her way into a Triple Threat at Hell in a Cell, she should’ve just had a 1v1 rematch, but she still did. She shouldn’t have had to fight her way into the MITB Ladder match, but she did! And y’know what that makes her? A fighter!
Asuka can try and ruin Becky’s life, but No Holds Barred means no disqualifications, no restrictions, and NO holding back on Asuka as Becky makes her way back to HER Raw Women’s Championship! So Becky IS ready for Asuka, but Asuka isn’t ready for No Holds Barred Becks!
Uncle Sam is here?
Oh, it’s Uncle TRUTH! He waves to the fans as he goes to the ring, and he’s going to give us a real Fourth of July Celebration! What will that look like? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Truth says let’s get the USA chants going! “U S A!” “WHAT?” “U S A! U S A!” Truth likes that. Now, WWE Universe, allow him to introduce himself. He is the one, the only, UNCLE SAM! Uh, sure. Truth says that today is his favorite holiday. “Today, we celebrate our Independence Day! Now, now, now. As we all know from the movie, Independence Day, today we are here to honor those brave American heroes saved the Earth from the alien invasion back in 1996! Will Smith! Jeff Goldblum! And we can’t forget our favorite American hero, Vivica A. Fox. As we honor them, I would like to read my favorite passage from the Constitution. ‘Welcome ta Earf! BOP!'”
But wait, that ominous music! It’s LUDWIG KAISER! Imperium is here on Raw and Ludwig says if Truth is done with this ridiculous charade, he would like to introduce us to “a man who is actually worthy of celebration! Stand and pay respect to YOUR WWE Intercontinental Champion… DER RING GENERAL…! GUNTHER!!” And with that, the Intercontinental Champion invades Raw! Gunther storms up to the ring with Ludwig at his side. Truth gets the “U S A!” chants going, but Gunther steps up to “Uncle Sam,” to SLAP the wig off his head! The ref has Gunther back up, and this is a match now!
Gunther w/ Ludwig Kaiser VS R-Truth!
The bell rings, Truth tries to adjust his wig, but Gunther BOOTS him down! Gunther drags Truth up to CLUB him down, stomp him down, then egg him on. Gunther drags Truth up again but Truth fires off forearms! Fans fire up as Truth throws knees then runs, but the scissor kick misses! LARIAT! Gunther drags Truth up, reels him in, GENERAL BOMB!! High stack, Gunther wins!
Winner: GUNTHER, by pinfall
The Intercontinental Champion dominates Truth, making even Raw sacred! Will
Backstage interview with Alexa Bliss.
Sarah asks what her reaction to her friend, Liv, cashing in on Ronda Rousey and becoming champion. Well, just like last week, Alexa says she has no friends. But she is still happy for Liv. We all knew Liv would be champion one day. But Alexa realized it has been way too long since she held something other than Lily. Becky and Mella want Bianca, but maybe we need some Twisted Bliss. And imagine if Lily got a matching toy belt so they can go around together. Asuka walks in and pokes fun at Alexa. Alexa isn’t next to face Bianca, it will be Asuka after she beats down Becky in the main event! Alexa isn’t so sure, but who wins that race to the title match in Tennessee?
No Holds Barred: Asuka VS Becky Lynch!
The Empress of Tomorrow and Big Time Becks have been going back and forth for months, from Hell in a Cell to Money in the Bank. But now, with SummerSlam on the horizon, both of them agree this has to end! Who survives this fight when there’s nothing to hold them back?
Becky gets things started already, as she brings out a table! Becky’s ready to get extreme, will things only escalate from here? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Becky’s even brought out chairs and made a pile of them! Asuka makes her entrance and not only is she wearing a Jason Voorhees mask, she’s got a trash can! Becky is wary as Asuka brings that can into the ring, and then rushes her with a chair! Asuka stomps the chair down, the bell rings, Becky dodges the can but then Asuka CHUCKS it at her! SLIDING KICK! Cover, TWO!! Becky survives but Asuka stomps her down. Asuka then takes Becky’s chair to SMACK her with it! Asuka goes out and fetches more of those chairs Becky brought, but Becky kicks Asuka back. Becky wedges a chair in a corner, though that proves rather troublesome.
Asuka runs in with a chair! Becky blocks the shot, but Asuka then BACKHANDS Becky down! Asuka fires up, sets the chair up, and she drop toeholds. Becky catches herself from hitting the seat and throws Asuka at the chair. Asuka stops herself, mule kicks Becky, but Becky gets her chair from the corner. Becky resets the chair, but Asuka kicks her into it! Asuka brings Becky around but Becky blocks the suplex! Becky whips Asuka, Asuka reverses, but Becky hurdles the chair! Asuka uses the chair to go up and SHOTGUN Becky into the corner chair! Asuka then headlocks to BULLDOG Becky off the standing chair!
Becky goes to the apron but Asuka hurries after her. Asuka fires off fists but Becky blocks the German Suplex! Becky elbows Asuka, Asuka tries a powerbomb! Becky clings desperately to the ropes, then she stomps Asuka on the apron! And then APRON LEG DROP! Asuka flops down but Becky drags her up. BECKSPLODER onto the chair pile! Becky then hurries to clear off the announce desk! Fans fire up as Becky takes a chair to SMACK Asuka on the back! Asuka JAMS Becky from below, and hurries after Becky. Asuka runs in, HIP ATTACK into a chair and through barriers!! Fans lose their minds while Raw goes picture in picture!
Asuka grits her teeth and rises up. Asuka fires up, drags Becky up and puts her back in the ring. Cover, TWO! Becky bails out again but Asuka pursues. Becky gets a kendo stick and SMACKS Asuka with it! And again! And again! Becky soaks up the heat while Asuka crawls, and then Becky SMACKS her again! Asuka kicks low, but Becky blocks the suplex. Becky throws body shots, but Asuka RAMS her into steel steps! Asuka uses the kendo stick to SMACK Becky now! And again, and again! And again! Becky scrambles over the barriers to get away but Asuka pursues! Fans get an even closer experience as they brawl!
Becky hip drops Asuka, flexes, and fans fire up as Becky CLUBS Asuka along the way. Asuka ROCKS Becky with a stack of cups!? Asuka fires off forearms on Becky, then kicks and SOBATS her back to ringside. Asuka tosses Becky over barriers, but then Becky mule kicks Asuka down. Becky puts Asuka in the ring, looks under the ring, and brings out another table! But then she says no more tables, she puts the chairs in the ring! But Asuka WRECKS Becky with a dropkick! Asuka puts Becky in, brings the last few chairs in, only for Becky to WRECK her back! Becky drags Asuka up and in while fans chant for the table.
Becky pulls the chair from the corner out and sets it on Asuka. Then another chair, SMACKS the chair into Asuka’s chest! Becky has Asuka covered in chairs before she climbs up. But Asuka gets up to JAM Becky! Asuka makes sure the chair pile is nice and big, then she goes up after Becky! SUPERPLEX onto the chair pile!! Becky and Asuka are both down but they’re somehow both okay to continue. Asuka covers, TWO!! Becky survives and “This is Awesome!” as the two brawl on their knees! They go forearm for forearm, and Asuka dribbles Becky off the chairs! Asuka gets her trash can back, and she puts it on Becky! To KICK Becky over!
Asuka sits Becky up to KICK and KICK and KICK! And punch and BACKHAND! Becky somehow stays up, Asuka drums the top then goes up top! Asuka leaps to missile dropkick Becky down! Cover, TWO!! Becky survives being canned and smashed, but Asuka has the fans fired up for the table! Asuka goes out, brings out a table from below the ring, but Becky attacks her first! The table leans against the ring while Becky RAMS Asuka into steel steps. Becky puts this table in the ring and she throws the trash can out. Becky sets up the table but Asuka CLUBS her down! Asuka CLUBS Becky more but Becky throws body shots. And then a CHAIR SHOT!
Becky finishes setting up the table, but Asuka clamps on with an ASUKA LOCK!! Becky RAMS Asuka into buckles, gets free, but Asuka puts her outside! Asuka DECKS Becky, goes out after her, and then puts her back in. Asuka goes looking under the ring again, and she brings out… An umbrella? A Kabuki style umbrella! Asuka brings that in to SMACK, but Becky blocks! Asuka kicks, GREEN MIST! But the umbrella blocks most of it! Asuka still ROUNDHOUSES Becky down! Cover, TWO! Asuka puts Becky on the table and fans fire up as Asuka climbs! But Becky ROCKS Asuka first! Becky has an Electric Chair Lift but Asuka fights back!
Becky puts Asuka back on the corner, goes up with her, SUPER MANHANDLE SLAM through the table!!! Cover, Becky wins!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by pinfall
This was a Big Time No Holds Barred battle, and in the end, Becky was ready for Asuka! She is fired up now that she’s back on top, but will she get back to the very top before the summer is over?
After the disappointing ending to a great PPV this weekend, Raw After MITB turned out great through and through! I will say, it was interesting to see some SmackDown stars show up here, but I suppose that just makes this episode feel even bigger. Gunther’s whole thing on RawDown has been about “I’m the foreigner Heel, I don’t like Americans, hate me for that reason,” so him beating up Truth while Truth cosplays Uncle Sam made sense in that context. Gunther is going to dominate for a long time, so this did help build some Heel heat that he had to go and ruin the fun just so he could get a win.
And in the case of Liv Morgan showing up, this was so we could all celebrate and she could give her first promo as champion before fully moving over to SmackDown. Liv & Bianca VS Natty & Mella was a very good match, and it’s clear what the plans for SummerSlam are. Mella isn’t giving up on the Raw title, and Natty wants another shot at the SmackDown title now that it isn’t Ronda as champion. Both matches will be good for SummerSlam, but I would think that both champions retain. Bianca beat Mella already, I don’t see her losing the second time. And Natty makes for a solid first defense for Liv to fully establish herself.
Good stuff out of Mysterios VS Judgement Day, and a great tribute to Eddie Guerrero with how that match finished. But of course Judgement Day attacked them backstage to keep this feud going. Combine that with the cryptic videos that are about Edge, I wonder if Edge and Rey join forces again after years and years, and they have an awesome tag match against Finn & Priest at SummerSlam. Miz had a good promo to try and reason with Logan Paul, but you can bet it won’t affect Logan at all. Styles VS Miz happening again was okay, it still turned out to be a really good match, and it seems if Logan isn’t going to join Miz, Ciampa is more than open to the idea. Maybe we get Miz & Ciampa VS Styles & Logan at SummerSlam to settle everything at once.
Good ol’ WWE giving us another classic holiday themed party. Good reason for everyone to be around and interacting with each other, such as the 24/7 Division running through and Reggie getting tossed by Omos again. Alexander & Ali working together to prank Veer could just be for laughs or it could be WWE’s goofy way of starting a feud between them. Either way, we need the Heart & Soul of 205 Live to reunite as a tag team to give more teams for the Undisputed Tag Team Champions to face. It was pretty clever for the cookout to also give us motivation behind Rollins VS Zeke, which turned out to be a great match. Rollins wins, of course, but I like that Riddle got the better of him. They’re definitely going to be a SummerSlam match since neither is Mr. MITB.
And speaking of that dumb move from MITB, Theory did a decent job of cutting a promo as Mr. MITB. Of course Theory wants his US Championship back to follow in Rollins’ footsteps from when Rollins was dual world and US Champion. We got a great six man, and great to see the Faces win as they all move towards SummerSlam. I’d hope Theory doesn’t win the US title back, Lashley deserves to reign longer than four weeks. And Theory should really focus on his cash-in, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Theory takes a count-out loss to stay healthy. But of course there had to be barf tonight. The second the hotdog eating contest was a thing, I knew this was going to end up like Titus O’Neil on Thanksgiving after losing to Cesaro and his swing.
I’m actually glad Asuka interrupted Alexa Bliss before she just repeated what she said last week. Asuka VS Becky was a great No Holds Barred match, though it might’ve had a rough start as the two tried to make things work when that chair just wouldn’t stay in the corner. I really liked that Asuka brought out the umbrella, it was a partial callback to Kabuki Warriors with Kairi Sane, and it worked out to be a shield to the mist, though the timing was a bit off. Becky still ended up a bit green, but the finish was great stuff. Becky is back, and I suppose Mella getting the SummerSlam match isn’t a given. We’re almost getting an exact replay of last year if Becky were to take Mella’s spot from her on the show, who knows what happens.
My Score: 8.5/10
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